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Let's talk about the way... I used morbid crime documentaries to nod off at night

‘Talk of mass murder buzzing in my ears.’

I CAN’T GO to sleep without a little background noise, and sure look, that’s fair enough.


For every person who needs earbuds and an eye-mask to drop off, there’s a person who needs the familiar sound of a much-loved sitcom or the soothing tones of a meditative podcast.

And then there’s me.

So yeah, I’m not going to pretend that my boyfriend was overly comfortable with the fact I used to listen to stories about serial killers in order to wind down.

And I get it.

If he listened to morbid documentaries about the world’s most prolific murderers in a bid to drop off, I’d have suggested we might call it a day.

At the very least, I’d have slept on a couch… in a different house… with one eye open for the rest of my natural life. And then some.

But in all seriousness, I would have been disturbed. Utterly, utterly disturbed.

In my mind, however, my tendency to listen to documentaries about the carry-on of  Harold Shipman and the likes before I went to sleep just wasn’t the same.

But eh sorry now, of course it was.

folling yourself

I mean, I know well I’ve no intention of becoming a serial killer – stress of that – but who else can really and truly say the same about me?

I mean, if your go-to method of relaxation is the modus operandi of murderers, you’re leaving yourself open to considerable speculation there. Just a word to the wise.

I used dress it up by saying the host’s voice was familiar, I was often asleep before they got to the grisly bits, and I had listened to the same ones so frequently (yeah, I know) that I wasn’t actually taking in the information anymore.

But at the end of the day, my night-time wind-down was…ehm… death and destruction.

Get in the actual bin.

IT Dreams

Oh, and it wasn’t like I’d be watching a documentary – somehow, more acceptable – or listening to a podcast.

No, I was playing YouTube on my phone, sliding the phone behind my pillow, niftily tucking in my earphones, and closing my eyes.

Yep there I was; settling down for the night’s sleep with talk of mass murder buzzing in my ears.

I mean, the absolute derangement of it.

We all know that fascination with true crime has skyrocketed in recent years; Netflix is awash with documentary series devoted to the topic and you can’t move for the number of podcasts committed to the cause, but that doesn’t excuse my demented carry-on.

Yes, it’s certainly provided me with more of a leg to stand on, but really, we all knew I was clutching at straws.

And sure listen, it all came to a head when the earphones slipped out of my ears one night.

The discomfort of getting tangled in the cord meant I woke up to the sounds of a questionable reenactment playing for all to hear, and saw my boyfriend lying rigidly beside me, pretending to read.

It was a sobering moment in our relationship, to say the least.

‘I need a new approach,” I told him, because I’m nothing if not atune to another person’s terror. Certain documentaries will do that to you.

Unsurprisingly, he was in complete agreement, and I’ve since given the old true crime a rest.

Now I listen to ASMR videos at night.

Here you’ll find an excessive amount of whispering, more tip-tapping than you can shake a stick at, and not a fecking dead body in sight (or sound.)

Look at me, I’m normal.

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